Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy 78th Dad

This is a tribute to a great Dad

This coming week my Dad will celebrate his 78th birthday. Wow...I can't believe my Dad will be that YOUNG! I love my Father so very much and feel blessed that he is MY Dad...well, I have to share him with my 2 sisters and brother...but that's okay :) I have so many good memories of my father as a child. I guess the greatest thing I can say about my Dad is that he always had time for us kids. My brother Joe played baseball each Spring and football each Autumn. I remember nearly EVERY night after dinner my Dad going outside with Joe and practicing throwing the baseball or the football. I am sure they had some great talks during this time and as I look back I realize how priceless this was for my brother to feel that Dad cared about him and Joe's love grew for Dad. My Sisters and I also felt that Dad gave so much of himself for us. He played with us, danced through the house with us..even pulling a ballet move once..that was kick. One night as my parents were getting ready to go square dancing Dad went up to shave. My sister and I gathered around him in the bathroom, rubbed shaving cream on our faces, took the opposite end of our toothbrush and pretended to shave along with Dad. Dad would usually be singing as he shaved. Dad has a wonderful baratone voice. My Dad was greating at tucking us into bed each night. You see he didn't just kiss us or hug had to get a kiss, a hug, a raspberry, a squeeze and sometimes a tickle. It was great! I guess my sisters and I felt like we had our Dad wrapped around our fingers. He didn't spoil us but he loved us..and for that I have always been grateful. Growing up we didn't have a lot and there were many times when my Dad would get laid off of work and my Mom would be the only one with a job. Even then however Dad would work odd jobs anywhere he could to help support his family. He didn't want a handout and he wanted to do all he could to be a good role model to us kids about working and doing your best. I remember when my Dad finally got a good job that he was able to keep until he retired. He earned it..that's for sure! Even now as I think of my Dad as an older man and when I see how he is around us grown up kids and his grandkids I am thankful for the love he shows and his caring for each of us. When I went to Ireland with my parents in 2003 and was able to spend that one on one time with the both of them it was fantastic. My Dad has a great sense of humor, he cares about others and he loves our Mom. I am thankful for his wonderful example to me and thankful that Heavenly Father gave my Father to me... Happy Birthday Dad!! I love you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

McAndrew and Fox

This is the senior photo of my Grandmother Nellie Mae Fox. She graduated from Bradford High School in 1929. As a young girl I wish I had known her more and known more about her. I see Aunt Shirley in her face as well as my sister Annie. I see her nose is similiar to my Dad's. We all thought that the McAndrew kids got their Dad's nose...I guess maybe not :)

Hugh Bernard McAndrew, my Grandfather

the parents of Nellie Mae Fox

Does she look mad or what?? If looks could kill! This is Nellie Fox McAndrew

Nelle Mae Fox and her sister Luella Effie Fox
this photo was taken on Congress St. in Bradford, Pa
where Nellie lived with her Aunt and Uncle.

Old Quinn photos

Thanks Dave for sending these photos of the Quinns. To be honest I have little if any so it was great to get these. I believe this is a photo of Mike Quinn and this is at Bingham at one of the Quinn get togethers. I am not sure of all the kids in the photo...Mom or Aunt you know? If so, please post a comment. thanks!

Aunt Mary Yohe with Mervin Yohe

I know I posted this photo already but I did a close up of it...I also wanted to show the original with the backgrounds of Aunt Mary Yohe sitting on the far right and one of her girls sitting in a chair on the far left

Again a photo that I am not sure who everyone is in it. Mom, help me out here. I recognize Gramma Balon on the far right and I was wondering if that was Aunt Catherine hugging Aunt Barb? It looks like Geraldine Quinn(Chaunce's wife) in the background talking to a Richards boy? Where was this? I think Mom said that it was in Limestone somewhere. Any help would be great!

I love this picture. This is a young Billy Quinn. He sure looks like a Quinn, no denying that.

The Balons'

Do you ever look at old photos of people who lived many years ago and wonder who they were and what they did? What kind of life they lived and were they real? Time seems to fly by so quickly and yet photos help freeze time for a while and help us to remember and look back and try to learn about those that came before us. They each have a story. They each have something to share with us.

Below are some photos of Balon family members. The very first one at the top is a young Joseph Balon. He was from Aunt Rose's account a great brother and a great friend. She and he were very close growing up as they were closest in age. This photo is his high school picture. He died not long after it was taken. He had been playing baseball and slid into a base, cut his leg and continued on. He didn't think about it much...then was the 1930's. He developed blood poisening in that leg and died. He never did graduate from St. Bernard's High School. You have to wonder what might have happened had he lived and the stories we would have known of him.
It sounds like he was quite a neat guy.

This is Uncle Paul Balon, Grampa Balon's older brother. He left Bingham after sometime and settled in Texas where he lived out his life.

Ed Balon

Some of the Balon boys, Great Grandpa Balon and Tom Schillnger. This photo was taken the day of Mary Kasprzyk Balon's funeral. Grampa Balon is in the second row on the far left...his father, Mike Balon is on the back row as well...on the far right. Next to Mike is Tom Schillinger and next to Tom is a family friend. Those in front are: L-R: Joe Balon, (someone seating behind him...can't be sure who it is) Paul Balon in gray like suit, Bernard Balon wearing plaid, unsure of the one next to Bernard..and on the end Anthony John..aka AJ Balon..the oldest son of Mike and Mary Balon Two sisters are not in this photo..Anna and Rose

The Balon homestead built by Mike Balon. This is a photo of Mike and Mary Balon with some of their children along with Jacob Kasper (Kasprzyk) and his wife.

Michael Balon

I need to post this photo of my Great Grandfather Michael Balon
Michael came to the United States circa 1893 with his wife Mary Kasprzyk.
Mike and Mary came here from Poland and settled in a small area known as
Bingham. The "Village of Bingham" to be exact. It is that you all
know. Mike Balon became a Foreman on the Railroad. He was also a great carpenter
and built his own home near the railroad tracks at Bingham. He helped build the Catholic
Church as well that was once in Mount Alton. He and his wife Mary had 11 children.

This is an old photo of the home that my Mom, Joan and
her sister, Barb grew up in. I remember visiting Gramma and
Grampa there and after they passed on I remember spending
countless summers at that peaceful,quiet place. Even though there
was no running water it was heaven! We loved it!

Ed and Grace Balon

Grace Quinn Balon

a young Ed Balon with his sister Anna Balon Schillinger

Let the Memories Gather!

Here we go! I would like to begin a family blog. Not a blog just about our own immediate family but our ancestors. My Grandparents and Great Grandparents. Cousins, Aunts and Uncles. The Black Sheeps and the Straight Laced and all the others in between :) I have been interested in family and studying my family since I was really young. I can recall being only 5 and wondering about my Grandma McAndrew and where she was. I have fond memories of my Gramma and Grampa Balon and I remember feeling saddened that they were not around while I was growing up. I want to have this be a place where I can share stories that have been told. Photos that have been taken and other events for all our family to see and share. What I would Love for you to do is to email me with stories you remember (whether it be a Quinn, McAndrew, Nolan, Balon, Fox...what have you) Let the memories gather!!